Being under the impression that Sherwan would be at the dentist today, I planned something a little different, to focus on the words of the play and their pronunciation. It is clear that, if we are to present the play to any sort of audience, we need to make the words clearer and easier to understand. All of the group have accents which affect other people’s ability to understand them, and the fact that all of their accents are different adds to the problem. As it happened, Sherwan was there – his dentist appointment had been moved – but this meant that we could look at very nearly the whole play.
I began by introducing them to some simple, and not so simple, tongue-twisters, with Susie sitting by the sea-shore, and a lot of hot coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, amongst others. And then we worked our way steadily through the script, taking time to clarify some pronunciations, to simplify some of the harder to say words.
And then we had a run-through, which went surprisingly well. Sherwan was off-book, which was a most impressive achievement, and actually some sections, such as the fortune-telling scene, were really pretty good, with life and energy. We will have to start thinking about some sort of low-key performance, but probably it makes sense to have a little more material – Destiny lasts about 15 minutes, which is not really long enough to fill a slot. Besides, as Hamed has pointed out, it is a little serious, so it would be nice to balance it with something lighter, with better opportunity for comedy. So, to make something of a double-bill, we shall probably revive The Boy Who Cried Wolf, aka The Lying Shepherd. When we worked on this before, Fatima was able to introduce us to a Farsi folk song, but no-one could recall this properly, or suggest an alternative, so we had a go at singing Frere Jacques in a round. And if I can come up with some different words, to make it into a work song, then it might fit the bill.
To finish, we acted out a series of improvisations with a more physical and comic heart, based on the idea of The Magic Glove, a glove which takes over its owners hand. They are getting better and better at creating their own ideas, their own scenes, so these are always entertaining. More importantly, it demonstrates how much progress they have made as performers.